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Nobody wants whiffy breath, but the sheer volume of food and drink travelling through our mouths daily means that a quarter of us suffer from it. Nailing your oral hygiene is essential, because bad oral hygiene allows bacteria to build up and produce unpleasant smelling gasses.
But there are plenty of other avoidable causes and simple solutions, so read on for guaranteed fresh-breath confidence.
The leading cause of bad breath is bacteria on and between your teeth, tongue and gums, so sort that first.
Brush your teeth and gums last thing at night and first thing in the morning for two full minutes (all Oral-B electric toothbrushes have timers, so you don’t have to worry about clocking this yourself). And always use a fluoride toothpaste – such as Oral-B Pro-Expert Deep Clean – for best results.
Brushing alone only cleans the surface of your teeth, not the food that gets stuck between them, so floss between your teeth or use interdental brushes daily to make sure you remove any food that could get stuck and cause problems.
A tongue scraper is a smart idea, because another common reason for bad breath is a ‘nasal drip’, which coats the back of your tongue with bacteria. Tongue scrapers remove these nasties.
Then finish off with a rinse: recent research proves that mouthwash helps to reduce levels of bacteria and chemicals that cause a nasty whiff. Mouth rinses kill bacteria thanks to antibacterial agents like chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium found in Oral-B Pro-Expert Deep Clean Mouthwash.
Garlic may taste delicious, but garlic breath is too real. Rather than opting for bland Bolognese, munch an apple or some lettuce immediately after eating a garlicky feast.
Apparently, these foods beat garlic breath in two ways; first, enzymes help to destroy the odours, then phenolic compounds destroy the chemicals that create the bad breath.
So there’s no need to skip a goodnight kiss after an Italian dinner date – just order a side salad!
Saliva is a natural antiseptic that breaks down food particles and stops bacteria growing in the mouth – making dehydration another major bad breath culprit. To produce enough saliva, you need to stay hydrated through the day, so sip water and herbal teas, but avoid alcohol.
Another dry mouth cause is breathing through your mouth instead of your nose. It’s also worth knowing that certain medicines can limit how much saliva you produce, such as nitrates used to treat angina and some tranquillisers.
This will also help to keep your mouth from getting dry. Research shows that chewing a sugar-free cinnamon-flavoured gum for 20 minutes reduces bad-breath causing bacteria in the mouth thanks to natural antibacterial agents.
Another way to build up saliva naturally is to eat water-rich crudités like carrot or celery sticks – they can help scrape out plaque build-up and boost saliva production.
One of the causes of bad breath is smoking, which also stains teeth, irritates gums and causes loss of taste, so kicking the habit is important. Drinking too much alcohol can worsen stale breath, too.
While being overweight has implications for overall health, trying to slim down by crash dieting, fasting or eating a restrictive low-carbohydrate diet is no good either. Extreme diets cause your body to break down fat, which produces chemicals called ketones that can be smelt on your breath. The key, then, is to stay at a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet.
Bad breath can be linked to how healthy your gut is, because an imbalance between good and bad bacteria can cause an unpleasant smell. Eating traditional yoghurt – a food that contains probiotics – can reduce the harmful bacteria that causes bad breath.
Do you find Oral-B helps you to combat bad breath? Let us know your thoughts in the comments sect